Indian-American Abhijit Banerjee, his wife Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer were awarded the 2019 Nobel Economics Prize on Monday for their approach to alleviate global poverty.
Fifty-eight-year-old Banerjee was born in 1961. He studied at Calcutta University’s Presidency College and Jawaharlal Nehru University and then did a Ph.D. from Harvard in 1988. Abhijit was also a student of another Nobel Award winner in Economics, Amartya Sen.
Esther Duflo, 46, born in Paris, also has the honor to be the youngest ever person to receive the economics award. She is the second woman to win the economics prize after Elinor Ostrom got it in 2009. She is married to Abhijit Banerjee.
Banerjee is the author of four books that include Poor Economics, for which he won the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award in 2011. The book has been translated into more than 17 languages.
Both Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo work at Massachusetts Institute of Technology while Kremer is at Harvard University. Duflo is also the Editor of the American Economic Review, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. Kremer, 54, is a development economist, who is currently the Gates Professor of Developing Societies at Harvard University.
The news was received with much enthusiasm and pride by Indians.
Hearty congratulations to Abhijit Banerjee, alumnus of South Point School & Presidency College Kolkata, for winning the Nobel Prize in Economics. Another Bengali has done the nation proud. We are overjoyed.
জয় হিন্দ । জয় বাংলা ।
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) October 14, 2019
Abhijit Banerjee is also the batch mate of Yogendra Yadav, social activist and national President of Swaraj India. He also congratulated Banerjee on Twitter.
The first Nobel Prize for JNU !
Abhijit Banerjee was my batchmate (1981-83). Did MA (Eco) from CESP/SSS, JNU. https://t.co/Lw87ezVBqm
— Yogendra Yadav (@_YogendraYadav) October 14, 2019
Opposition leader Rahul Gandhi also congratulated Abhijit Bannerjee and revealed that Abhijit was one of the consultants in conceptualising NYAY scheme, congress minimum basic income guarantee scheme.
In his congratulatory message to Banerjee, Gandhi took a dig at BJP-led government, saying that NYAY had the power to destroy poverty but the current government policies, which he called ‘Modinomics’, are destroying the economy and boosting poverty.
Congratulations to #AbhijitBanerjee on winning the Nobel Prize in Economics.
Abhijit helped conceptualise NYAY that had the power to destroy poverty and boost the Indian economy.
Instead we now have Modinomics, that’s destroying the economy and boosting poverty. https://t.co/joBYusVFKT
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) October 14, 2019
Big day for every Indian.
Heartiest congratulations to eminent economist Abhijit Banerjee for being among the winners of this year’s Nobel prize for Economics. Work on poverty alleviation gets highest endorsement.
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) October 14, 2019
Indian Economist Abhijit Banerjee wins #NobelPrize2019*
No tweets from PM/HM
No praise from any Godi Journalists
because Abhijit once criticized steps like Demonetization and appointing Shaktikanta Das as RBI Governor by Modi Govt.
P.S :: He is also a JNU Alumni
— Nенr_wно™ (@Nehr_who) October 14, 2019
Many have also questioned that PM Modi who is normally very quick on Twitter has not congratulated the Awardee.
PM of India @narendramodi, the quickest to tweet on every matter hasn't tweeted his wishes yet for 2019 noble price winner from India. #AbhijeetBanerjee had questioned the implementation of demonetization..#NobelPrize2019 #economics
— Nihal Kirnalli (@NihalKirnalli) October 14, 2019
Same cannot be said about his right-wing followers who are dissecting and questioning the Nobel prize and discrediting him because he had criticized demonetisation.
Reporter : Are you happy about the news?
Bhakts : pic.twitter.com/ayYGJeoqo9
— Guddu | گددو (@guddudcosta) October 14, 2019
Officially known as the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, the award wasn’t created by the prize founder, but is considered to be part of the Nobel stable of awards.
The Nobel prize in economics prize includes 9 million-kronor (USD 918,000) cash, a gold medal, and a diploma. The winners will equally share the prize money.